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18 July 2008


Raytheon awarded $1m contract for active electronically scanned lens array

As part of its Active Electronically Scanned Lens Array (AESLA) program, the US Office of Naval Research has awarded Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) business of Tewksbury, MA, USA a $1m base contract that could be worth more than $14m (if all four options are exercised) after developing an application for a pair of emerging technologies that, the firm claims, dramatically increases radar sensitivity while improving affordability. Joe Smolko of Raytheon IDS’ advanced technology group is program manager for the AESLA program.

One of the technologies is a high-power transmit-receive radar module enabled by gallium nitride monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs). The other is a low-loss, reliable phase shifter employing RF micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. Together, they combine to form a new, low-cost AESLA architecture that, the firm claims, can provide up to 10 times higher radar sensitivity at 40% lower cost compared to existing technology used in radar transmitters and receivers.

“By exploiting RF MEMS, we have created an AESLA architecture that enables next-generation radars to achieve the sensitivity required to engage increasingly challenging targets,” says Mark Russell, Raytheon’s VP of engineering, technology and mission assurance. “We can deliver this considerably increased capability at a significantly lower cost in comparison to current architectures,” he claims.

Development will take place at Raytheon’s Advanced Product Center in Dallas, TX and Raytheon’s RF Components in Andover, MA.

See related items:

Raytheon demos GaN in radar components

Raytheon’s next-generation GaN MMICs complete 8,000 hours of operational testing

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